Genius Award: Grapevine High School, Texas

Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas proved that it was one of the stupidest schools in the country when it denied an overachiever her due last month because of a carelessly formed rule.

Anjali Datta

16-year old Anjali Datta topped her senior class out of 471 students and graduated with a GPA of 5.898, believed to be the HIGHEST in the history of the school. She graduated in 3 years instead of 4 (because she is very smart).

And what did her school do? Like a true rule-checking brainless robot, denied her valedictorian, which would have given her one year’s scholarship in college. The school’s reason was that according to their policy, The valedictorian shall be the eligible student with the highest weighted grade-point average for four years of high school.”

Since Anjali graduated in less than four years, the school decided she was not eligible for valedictorian, even though she had the highest ever GPA of 5.898. Instead, they decided to give it to the second highest student 18-year old Tyler Scott Franklin who finished with a GPA of 5.64.

As if to put a band-aid on this, Grapevine High School created an on-the-fly award, “Valedictorian – Three-Year” just for Anjali Datta. How come they were able to add new awards when they were apparently not able to rectify a stupid law that discourages smart and brilliant students? Whatever happened to the America that rewarded intelligent people and overachievers?

From the article here,

“We’re doing what we can to extend an additional honor within accordance of school board policy,” said Megan Overman, a district spokeswoman. “I’m not going to say that this has been an easy situation. This is something that is new for all of us. We’ve not faced this situation before.”

Ms. Overman said the district researched the decision for months.

“There was a lot of thought involved in this. There is no perfect answer,” she said.

Maybe you should hire people who have the capacity to think, especially when a student’s future is involved, Ms. Overman. I don’t believe you put in even 5 minutes of thought in this. You said the district researched the decision for months. You showed your intellectual colours when you and the district came with this decision. Maybe there is no perfect answer, but you are a perfect idiot.

Read the email sent to Anjali’s parents. Typical “Hey, you’re great, blah blah blah…. but you don’t deserve it” mail.

Anjali and her family are obviously upset. From the article:

Anjali says she and her parents are baffled.

“I have not heard of any educational institution penalizing a student for excellence – for completing a demanding set of classes ‘too quickly,’ ” said her father, Deepak Datta. “Anjali’s experience will surely send a strong negative signal to other talented students trying to excel.

“They will most certainly be discouraged from trying to do their best – instead will be more focused on gaming the system.”

State officials say it is the local school district’s responsibility to determine the highest ranking student, and the state has no authority to get involved. At graduation June 7, Anjali will be honored for her perfect ACT score. She will be acknowledged as an honor graduate and allowed to address her classmates. But Anjali said it still doesn’t feel quite right. “This really diminishes the value of the valedictorian title,” she said.

Anjali will feel the hurt for a long time, but given her brilliant record, hopefully she’ll make it very big in life.

If you have a smart child who is an overachiever, do not let him/her study in this school. There are many other good schools that will reward your kids for their hard work.


4 thoughts on “Genius Award: Grapevine High School, Texas

  1. There they go again…. I live in Grapevine, and my daughter is set to go there if we stick around through then (she is currently in 2nd grade). This is not the first time that this school district has screwed students over. A few years back there was a group of cheerleaders suspended… you can read a mother’s account of the story here..

    Needless to say, it is looking more and more like the school district wants to run these schools with their own agenda. I feel for the girl in this article, to be penalized for being an over-achiever. I wonder if she was a WASP if they would have overlooked the rules. I don’t like to think that this is the case, but I’ve seen this sort of discrimination all over the school system.

    So when she applies to different colleges, does she get to say she was the valedictorian ?? Sad story.

  2. Hey Aravind, some schools have a maximum GPA of 5 instead of the usual 4. Overachievers can score over the highest when they do extra credit work or get into extra curricular activity. Not true for *all* schools though.

    Its like students getting 110/100 in India, for getting every answer right and answering extra credit/all choice questions.

  3. My husband, brother, and I all went to Grapevine High. That’s why, when I had my own family, I moved away. I would never put children through what GHS put me and my loved ones through – though I do love Grapevine, Texas and the people of the community. Best of luck to this family, and I’m sure the brilliant girl will overcome this little anthill and become the highly successful woman she was born to be. Shauna at

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